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Tip: Debunked tech myths
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Tech myths you need to stop believing: Private browsing, magnets and computers, bars = service

When it comes to tech myths, I’ve heard ‘em all. That’s why I’m here — to help you keep a handle on what’s real and what’s not. For each of the myths below, I’ve got a step you can take to stay safe or a tech rule of thumb to live by. 

Myth: Private browsing is totally private.

Fact: ISPs, advertisers and websites can still spot you. After all, the term “incognito” is rooted in the Latin incognitus, meaning “unknown.” Always log out from sensitive accounts and consider using a VPN for an extra layer of privacy.

Myth: The more megapixels, the better the camera.

Fact: Pixels are just part of the picture; today’s magazine cover photos are often shot with cameras under 20 megapixels! The pros know the software you use is just as important. Oh, and don’t shoot in RAW unless you need to; the files take up so much room.

Myth: Macs are the Fort Knox of computers.

Fact: They’re secure but not invincible. Macs get malware, too. Regularly update your software, and don’t skip those security patches.

Myth: Deleting files means they’re gone forever.

Fact: With the right tools, files can resurface like digital zombies. Your PC’s Recycle Bin? It’s more like a temporary holding zone. Use file-shredding software for sensitive documents to ensure they’re truly deleted.

Myth: Charging phones overnight kills the battery.

Fact: Modern phones are smarter than you think. Lithium-ion batteries, like those found in most smartphones, have built-in circuits to prevent overcharging. Use manufacturer-approved chargers to ensure safe and efficient charging.

Myth: Using a magnet near your computer could result in your PC’s instant death.

Fact: Today’s solid-state drives (SSDs) aren’t phased. This myth hearkens back to floppy disks, which could be wiped with magnets. Still, be cautious with strong magnets near older hard drives and your monitor.

Myth: “Free Wi-Fi” is always safe.

Fact: It’s a playground for snoopers. Use a VPN on public networks and never perform sensitive transactions on free Wi-Fi.

Myth: More bars = Better phone service

Fact: Bars measure signal strength, not quality. Sometimes, fewer bars but on a less crowded frequency might give clearer calls. For consistent service, consider Wi-Fi calling in areas with spotty reception.

Myth: Computers don’t need rest.

Fact: They can get “tired,” too. Restart your computer at least once a week to clear out temporary files and ensure smooth performance. For my trivia nerds, the infamous Windows Blue Screen was initially designed to be red.

Myth: Always eject USBs before removing. 

Fact: While it’s safe practice, modern OSs are lenient. When transferring data, always eject first to prevent potential corruption. Btw, to plug a USB drive the right way every time, insert it with the logo up.

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